Roulette is one of the oldest and most popular casino games in history. The game has an interesting history, with many historians claiming that famous French mathematician Blaise Pascal, invented roulette in the 17th century in his quest to try and develop a perpetual motion machine. The game name itself is French for ‘little wheel’.

Whether Pascal invented the game or not is a subject for debate but there was certainly an Italian game called Biribi which was popular in the 1720’s which is arguably the earliest game that roulette can be traced back to. This game also used a wheel and over the years in France, this basic design was enhanced to create the first version of roulette.

The very first wheels actually had two ‘zero’ slots, and these were also coloured red and black. However, as this caused confusion, later wheels were designed so that the zero and double zero slots were coloured green to make them easier to differentiate. Early roulette games in France featured two ‘zero’ slots, but in Germany in 1843, a single-zero version of the game was played in Bad Homburg.

This is the origin of what we now call European Roulette, which is the single zero version of the game. Somewhat unusually, the double zero version of the game has been called generically American Roulette, even though it originated back in France.

You can play a cracking version of roulette right now at bet365 Games.

The First Decision – European or American Roulette?

Of course, as statisticians will know, the more zeros on the wheel, the greater the house edge for the casino in that game. So the first decision you need to make when playing roulette for money, is to play the European, single zero, version of the game as the house edge is almost 50% less on this version of the game than on the single and double zero American version.

The house edge on European roulette is just over 3%, in American Roulette, it us just over 7%. That doesn’t sound much, but over time that can create quite a large gap in the amount you win back at a casino, all things being equal. Which of course, when it comes to casino games, they rarely are thanks to the nature of the game and good (or bad) fortune.

So now we know what version of the game to play, what else do we need to know?

First off, a standard European Roulette wheel, as in bet365 Games version of European Roulette, has the numbers from 1-36 on it. Numbers 1-10 and 19 to 28 sees the odd numbers coloured red, while even numbers are black. Numbers 11-18 and 29 to 36 sees the even numbers red and the odd numbers black. The single zero slot is coloured green.

The wheel is displayed on the centre top of the screen and underneath this is the layout. You can use the standard layout or the racetrack layout by clicking on the black button in the top right corner near the layout. I would advise you, unless you are already well familiar with the game, to stick with the standard layout to familiarise yourself with the simpler, better odds bets first.

What do I need to know about the standard roulette layout?

The standard roulette layout shows all numbers from 0 through to 36 on the screen, complete in their corresponding colour on the reel. Underneath these numbers are the better odds bets. These are listed below as follows:

  • 1st 12, 2nd 12 and 3rd 12 (which corresponds to the numbers 1-12, 13-24 and 25-36).
  • 1-18 and 19-36 – A bet on whether the number the ball lands on will appear in this selection of numbers.
  • Red or Black – a bet on whether the colour sector landed on will be red or black.
  • Odd or Even – a bet on whether the number landed on will be odd or even.
  • Three 2/1 selections – On the right of the layout you will see three row bets available. These are winners if the number you select is listed in the row (the top row comprises of all numbers in the 3x table (3, 6, 9, 12, 15 through to 36).

50/50 bets pay out at even money, 2/1 bets pay out, predictably at 2/1, as do the 1st 12, 2nd 12 and 3rd 12 bets.

When you are beginning roulette, these outside bets (named due to their position on the layout) are the bets that are most likely to bring you success. You should try to use these bets if you are playing with a view to at least winning relatively frequently, although with such low odds, you are unlikely to win a larger amount (unless you go on a long winning streak).

One thing to note, the bet minimum for these outer bets is £5 per spin, but you can split that bet across a number of bets (so you could put £1 on 1-18, Red and Odd as well as selecting the bottom row of numbers and the 2nd 12 bet. Back all these bets with £1 and you can then spin the reel and see how your bet performs.

Inside Bets and Bet Limit

If you want to bet a smaller amount, then you can get the wheel spinning for a minimum bet of £1.00, but you will need to place one or more Inside bets in order to get this to happen. Inside bets are the longer odds bets in the game and that is because they are generally placed on the inside part of the layout.

There are six types of Inside bets available in bet365 Games version of European Roulette:

  • Straight/Single – This is a bet on a single number and is placed by putting your chip fully inside the box containing the number on the layout. This pays at odds of 35/1. You can bet on zero for this bet too.
  • Split – This is a bet on two adjoining numbers and is placed by putting your chip on the dividing line between two numbers, so it overlaps them both. This pays at odds of 17/1. You can combine zero with 1, 2 or 3 for this bet.
  • Street – This is a bet between a column of three consecutive numbers (such as 1,2,3). This is placed by putting your chip at the foot of the column you want to bet on. This pays out at odds of 11/1. You can combine 0 with 1 and 2 or 2 and 3 for this bet too.
  • Corner – This is a bet on four adjacent numbers (such as 2, 3, 5 and 6). You place this bet by putting your coin on the corner of each square that intersects all four numbers. This pays out at 8/1
  • Four – This is a bet which includes 0, 1, 2 and 3. It is placed by putting your chip at the bottom of the layout on the line that intersects the 1-2-3 column and the zero. It also pays out at 8/1.
  • Line – Sometimes called an Avenue bet, this is a bet on two consecutive columns of numbers (such as 16, 17, 18 and 19, 20 and 21). It is placed by putting your chip at the bottom of both columns where the line that divides them meets the bottom of the layout. The odds for this bet are 5/1.

The minimum bet for each inside bet is £0.25 and you can of course place more than one bet of this amount on each spin by adding additional chips to the layout for additional bets. If you place a mixture of inside and outside bets, then the bet minimum is £5 in order to get the reel spinning. If you just place Inside bets, then the bet minimum is £1. There are also maximum bet limits for each type of bet these range from £150 for the 50/50 bets, to £25 for single number bets.

Using the Number Recorder and % Coverage Information

While every spin of a roulette wheel is random, many players like to see what numbers have been landed previously on the game and this is shown in the number recorder.. This is added to with every spin of the reel, so you can see a list of numbers that have landed in the game most recently.

Of more use is the % coverage indicator. This increases with every bet you place on the layout and once you have completed the bets, you can see how much of the wheel you have covered with your bets. For example, if you place one £5 bet on 1-18, then that covers around 49% of the wheel. Add a second £5 bet on Red, and in those two bets you have 73% of the wheel covered.

This gives you a good idea of your chances of landing a win on any spin of the reel and the more of the wheel you have covered then the more likely you are to have at least one win. However, depending on the bets you place and how much you place on them, that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to land a profit on that spin.

For example, if you place 10 £1 single number bets and a £5 bet on black and a £5 bet on 19-36, and the number comes up as black 29. Assuming you didn’t back the 29 as a single number, this would see you break even with the bet. That is because the £5 profit you make off each of the two winning bets (the two 50/50 bets) of £10 is cancelled by the £10 you lost betting on the single number bets.

Roulette’s appeal lies in its elegant simplicity and it is a game that has enchanted casino gamers throughout the centuries, but it is also tough to earn a profit at as there is no skill element or strategy that can guarantee a win (despite what some people will tell you). Your best option is to stick to the outside bets if you can afford to, or if not, just enjoy the game and take any win you get as a bonus!